Hispanic’s are more college educated than ever, their labor participation has grown by 137% in the last 20 years, and an increasing number of Hispanic’s are enrolling in college. Despite those numbers, that particular demographic is in worse shape now than it was 20 years ago.
According to Pew Research the number of Latinos attending college has more than tripled since 1996, yet the wealth gap continues to grow as income and wealth for Hispanic families is less today than it was in 1992.
A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that a typical Hispanic or black family earned less income and built less wealth in 2013 than they did in 1992. The median net worth for a college-educated Hispanic fell by 27% from 1992 through 2013, while their median real income plummeted by 10%. In comparison, non-Hispanic whites earned 18% more income and their net worth rose by 86% in the last two decades.
While college-educated Hispanic workers witnessed a decrease in earnings, their non-college-attending counterparts experienced a 16% increase in family income and a growing wealth of 31%.
Perhaps more perplexing is that non-college educated Hispanic family income went up by 16% and their wealth grew by 31%
Prior to the recession Hispanic and black families had far more debt than income, and also were the biggest losers during the housing collapse when families were buying homes they couldn’t afford and banks were giving out mortgages en masse to sub-prime borrowers. Hispanic families lost 72% of their wealth during the six-year recession.
“One reason why the income and wealth ratios are highest among white and Asian college graduates is that they are more likely than black or Hispanic college graduates to have graduate or professional degrees,” the federal reserve report said. “Advanced degrees typically provide significantly higher earnings and are strongly associated with greater wealth accumulation.”
The disparity caused by a loss of wealth among the Hispanic and African American communities is in part to blame for the loss of the middle class in America.